Saturday, April 22, 2017

Amazon Books

Two weeks ago I went to the Amazon Books 30 min south of Boston in the suburb of Dedham, interestingly the first east coast bricks and mortar location. I asked the store manager (as kindly as I could)..."Why Dedham?" It sounds like Dedham was chosen as a trial location to test the layout and footprint allocation.

You walk in, and the glass-front store is organized and aesthetically pleasing with hardwood floors, white walls and spaced out, symmetrical shelves. A stark contrast to the noisy Amazon website.

One thing that striked me was almost 1/4 of the store footprint was devoted to selling Amazon electronics - Alexa, Kindle, etc. 1/4 was a children's section with small reading area, 1/4 was a Peet's coffee stand, and the remaining 1/4 contained the overall bestsellers and new books, and bestsellers within sections like Biographies, History, Science, Health & Wellness, Travel, etc. And only a few small tables for someone to sit and read or work.

Jeff Bezos may not appreciate this comparison, but outside of the electronics section, it looks like a Hudson Books or other airport bookstore with bestsellers and a side coffee shop. To me, Hudson Books does free advertising for Amazon to travelers currently. But one or both need to exist... in person bookstores promote readers to consider other areas and books they would not otherwise. Echoed in this article from the Motley Fool.

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